The Persian Wars

The Persian Wars
“If the Persians darken the sun, we’ll be able to fight in the shade.”
Persian War Map
Persia Empire Under Darius
Ionian Revolt
 The area of Ionia is now under the control of the
 499 BCE – 493 BCE the Ionians revolt against Persia
 Asks for assistance from other Greek cites
 Some responded –Athens
 Some did not help – Sparta
 The revolt collapsed in 493 BCE
Ionian Revolts
Darius Invades Greece
 Darius saw the opportunity to invade Greece and punish
those who had assisted the Ionians
 In 490 BCE he crossed the Aegean Sea to defeat Athens
 The Persians landed at Marathon, 26 miles north of
Battle of Marathon
Battle of Marathon
 Phase I:
 Phase II:
And the winner is…
 Greece!
 However, the Persians go back to their ships and sail
south to Athens
 The Greeks send a messenger to warn Athens
 Athens hears the news and prepares for battle
 The troops at Marathon beat the Persian ships to Athens
and defeat the Persians again
Darius Defeated
 The Persians return home and
Darius plans for a second
 Darius the Great dies in 486 and
his son, Xerxes, takes over the
invasion plan
 Xerxes devotes four years to
building an army and a navy to
defeat Greece
Meanwhile back in Greece…
 Enter Themistocles, an
Athenian statesman
 483 BCE he convinces the
Athenians to build more
warships for the navy
 Athens also fortifies their
harbor with walls
Greek Alliance
 In 480, under the fear of another Persian invasion, 30+
Greek city-states form an alliance
 At the head of the league were powerhouses Sparta and
Second Persian Invasion
 In 480 BCE Xerxes
and his troops
began their
invasion to Greece
 While the navy
sails across the
northern part of the
Aegean Sea, the
army crosses the
Hellespont on a
pontoon bridge
Battle at Thermopylae
 Greeks make at stand at Thermopylae, a very narrow
location where they could battle the large forces of
 300 Spartans and 5,000 other Greek men vs. the Persian
 Persia defeated the Greeks by using a small path to flank
the Greek forces
Battle of Thermopylae
Meanwhile at sea…
 The Greek navy is defending the Straits of Artemisium
 They battled for three days!
 On the third day, after heavy losses on both sides, the
Greeks heard of the fall at Thermopylae and drew back
since they were no longer needed to protect the men at
Xerxes crosses Greece
 After the win at Thermopylae, Xerxes is quickly
conquering Greek land
 The biggest obstacle that is preventing the fall of Greece
is the Greek navy
 He decided to end the Greek resistance with a major
battle at sea…
 The Greeks too, knew that the fate of Greece rested in
the hands of the navy
The Battle at Salamis
 The Greeks lured the Persian fleet into the bay at
 There the large Persian navy became trapped and
disorganized in the small bay
 The Greek navy quickly attacked and captured over 200
Persian ships
Xerxes Defeated (kinda)
 Xerxes tries to stay and build a causeway to the city of
Salamis but abandons the task
 Fearing the Greeks will sail to the Hellespont and
destroy the pontoon bridges he returns home to Persia
The Persians Remain
 Some of the Persian army and fleet remain and attempt
to regain parts of Greece
 Battle occur at Plataea and Mycale leading to further
Persian defeat
 The battle of Plataea marked the end of the Persian
army and navy
 The Greeks were victorious and free…for now